I'm talking about these cars as if they were being built on an assembly line. Not an individual practice. There's a continuous flow of chassis rolling throughout the plant which makes automotive manufacturing a much simpler task. This was one of the reasons why Henry Ford became famous. I could understand a wait of a couple months, however multiple years is simply rediculous.That 8 hours to build a Smart obviously isn't the whole picture. If that were the case, they'd only be building 3 a day and a thousand a year. The critical number is the unit production capacity per day coming off the end of the assembly line in Humbach, France.
Any intelligent automaker is extreamly motivated to sell as many vehicles as it can. The trick is consumer interest. If consumer interest dies, so does the product. And any automotive manufacturer (especially smart, considering the fortwo is now their only source of revenue) with just one vehicle holding the flag must be very careful as to how they market their product and how readily available they make their car. Trust me, if they really wanted to they could pump out these little guys no problem. Me and some friends could probably build one of these in a matter of days, so you think an auto company backed by a well respected german automaker like mercedes-benz would have any real difficulties granting people their wishes?smart is extremely motivated to sell as many fortwos as it can. Success in the US market is key to their future success overall, so I believe they will ship as many cars here as reasonably possible.
Which is why you release your product to a few countries at a time. Not all at once! I'm sure smart as well as daddy mercedes is very well aware of production capacities of their plant(s). They know exactly what their doing and that's exactly how you stimulate consumer interest. Think of it, if everyone had total security in knowing their smart was going to arrive on such and such a ship date, this forum would be rendered useless, except for the technical's area and maybe the occasional, "hey what handwax do you use?"But at the end of the day, they have one factory with finite capacity and another 35 markets to satisfy as well.
A fixed production plant has a finite production capacity. I would guess that their current excess capacity is currently around 20,000 units. Hence, the production quota for the US. Keep in mind that Smart is a big money loser for MB at this time and they are unlikely to commit to hundreds of millions in plant expansion until the success if the US market is proven.Trust me, if they really wanted to they could pump out these little guys no problem. .
That's exactly what they did. The Smart has been slowly introduced throughout a number of Euro countries over the past several years.Which is why you release your product to a few countries at a time. Not all at once!